Thursday, October 29, 2009

Abstraction from "He's Never Coming Home"

In 2005, I participated in a show called "Coming through the Loop" curated by Sally White King. I was one of serveral artists in the show from the Water and Stone Artists Collective. Sally used 6 of the 60 images from my installation, "Hanging One's Grief Out to Dry" to advertise the show on a postcard mailing (see below). These 60 works consisted of individual 12"x12" panels which were wrapped in plastic, backed with tan corrugated card board, and hung on thin rope using clothes pins. The works were then hung on both sides of a very narrow hallway. I completed over 100 pieces using black and red-orange guache on white paper as a series of "grief paintings" in 2001 after my father passed away. These 60 images were selected from these paintings.

Last month, I completed an abstraction from one of the pieces called "He's Never Coming Home" which I designed as a black stencil over a white background on which I had painted a red circle (see below). I will be doing more of this.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Principle One: Interplay of Space

The most basic art-toon design principle is that of NOTAN. A Japanese word, Notan means the interplay of space: of the light (positive) and of the dark (negative). Notan is not just about the relationship between figure and ground; it concerns the weaving together of movement and statis, of asymmetry and balance, where light and dark dance with each other as complements, not in conflict. As the authors warn the Western reader:

"[Our] culture thinks in terms of opposed dualities and attaches the moral values of good to the positive, of bad to the negative. Or we seize upon the positive as the only reality and dismiss the negative as invisible and nonexistent.

"To understand Notan, therefore, requires a special effort on our part; it demands a totally new orientation to seeing. Nevertheless, the effort is well worth the while if it enables us to see Notan--the basis of all good design--as it exists all around us."

Since a picture is worth 1000 words, I will be posting my experiments with Notan here. These drawings, which I term "Noodling & Doodling" (thanks to Bert Dodson, author of "Keys to Drawing with Imagination) are not meant to be copied but can be used to spur your own creative juices. 

I've been playing with the process of Zendalas, morphing of Zentangles, stencil designs, and am finding early doodles that I'm going to post here.


Book Title: "Notan: The Dark-Light Principle of Design"
Authors: Dorr Bothwell and Marlys Mayfield
Date/Publisher: 1991; Dover Pulications, Inc.; New York
Copyright: 1968 by Litton Educational Publishing, Inc.

Book Title: "Keys to Drawing with Imagination: Strategies and Exercises for Gaining Confidence and Enhancing your Creativity"
Author: Bert Dodson
Publisher: North Light Books; Ohio
Copyright: 2007

Friday, October 23, 2009

Cover Story

My friend, Richard S., said "Being an artist is as good a cover story as any." As a budding Art-Toonist, I believed him.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oops! Big Mistake. My Bad

When in public
a mistake is made
the Heart Storms
in private.

Oh, when you make a mistake it is one thing when no one knows; embarrassing when there's a witness or two; quite another when it adversely impacts others; definitely crazy-making when it involves financial matters; and off the charts when you can't fix it after the fact. Arrrgh. Heart Storming like mad.